SummaryTrail GuideTopo MapReviewsPhotosGPS
South Mountain: National Trail Professional Review and Guide
"Shaw Butte Trail 306 may be the best all-around hike in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. It offers a challenging hike to the summit, a scenic loop through the desert floor, panoramic overlooks around nearly every turn, and fewer crowds than Piestewa Peak."
--Charles Liu, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Phoenix (Menasha Ridge Press).
The trls.com trail guide is very accurate, if you have GPS then the route is very easy to follow. Trail 8 is well marked - but finding the A-junction back to 40th street might have been a challenge if not for the GPS keeping our mileage. Trail is mostly loose large rocks (not gravel) - suggest hiking boots. Not really difficult - a couple steep parts but only a few spots where you need to use your hands. Nice scenery and some cool cactus. Start of trail was busy, but once out on A-B we saw only a handful of people on a weekend. Also, short drive from Desert Ridge area where we were staying on our vacation - which made it a great choice.
Great trail for getting a short workout at the end of the day. Not great views but not bad either. Lots of irritating insects.
Trail 8, not 8A or 8B, is very rocky with some good views. You will share with horseman, but no mountain bikes (unusual in this area). There are a few short climbs, overall fairly easy hike.
Sign in/up to upload photos.